The April 2021 Rostrum article “Integrating Expectations for Cultural Competence into Faculty Evaluations” (Aschenbach, 2021) highlighted reasons that elements of diversity, equity, and inclusion are encouraged in personnel evaluations, including faculty tenure review. At the state level, this work has been an effort of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Implementation Workgroup and largely guided by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Vision for Success and Recommendations from the Vision for Success Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (California Community Colleges Board of Governors, 2019). To further implementation of diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and accessibility (DEIA) into personnel evaluations, the workgroup developed a set of DEIA competencies and criteria.
The DEIA competencies and criteria are intended to assist college districts in identifying what the practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion looks like across all employee classifications by defining the “skills, knowledge, and behaviors that all California Community College employees must demonstrate to work, teach, and lead in a diverse environment that celebrates and is inclusive of diversity” (CCCCO, 2021). Considered collectively, they define the meaning of being an equity-based employee in the California Community Colleges system and are meant to guide ongoing employee learning and development rather than being used as punitive measures in the evaluation process.
The recommended DEIA competencies and criteria (CCCCO, 2021) were developed by a subgroup of members of the CCCCO DEIA Implementation Workgroup. Both the workgroup and the subgroup include broad representation from multiple stakeholder groups: The California Community Colleges Board of Governors, California Community College Trustees, Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges, Association of Chief Business Officers, California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers, Association of Chief Human Resource Officers, Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Student Senate for California Community Colleges, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges (CCCCO, n.d.).
Subgroup members met for nearly six months from late spring through early fall of 2021. Guided by facilitators from the Success Center of the Foundation for California Community Colleges, subgroup members engaged in activities to first learn about how DEI—later revised to DEIA with the addition of accessibility—was incorporated into faculty evaluations at a sampling of small and large colleges and universities across the nation and then shifting to brainstorming about expected attributes of an equity practitioner and exploration of potential challenges to the inclusion of DEIA in personnel evaluations. From these activities grew an initial framework of competencies and criteria that was refined through further dialogue and feedback within the subgroup and the full workgroup. The entire process was collaborative, and members were able to engage authentically because all participants agreed to creating and supporting a space safe for honest and sincere dialogue.
The DEIA competencies and criteria are intended to be a recommended list; while they were developed for the California Community Colleges system by representative employees of the California community colleges, local districts are encouraged to use them as a starting point for local dialogue and development of a local list. In addition, the version of the DEIA competencies and criteria shared with the Board of Governors in November 2021 (CCCCO, 2021) is intended to be a living rather than static list of expected DEIA-related actions and behaviors. They are already being further developed with efforts underway to include competencies and criteria for accessibility: Draft Title 5 regulations presented to the Board of Governors in March 2022 contain an on-going expectation for further development through representative and collaborative efforts.
The November 2021 version of the DEIA competencies and criteria is a two-tiered framework organized into themes, with a total of six competency themes and seven criteria themes. Competency themes that apply to all employee groups—faculty and staff, including administrators—are cultural competency, self-reflection, self-improvement, data, and DEIA and mission. The one competency theme that applies only to faculty is diversity, equity, and inclusion pedagogy and curriculum, which is intended to be applicable in all faculty roles whether in the classroom, library, learning center, or counseling office.
Competencies are high level behaviors and actions, while criteria are more discrete, observable skills. Criteria themes that apply to all employee groups are service, self-assessment, DEI environment, professional development, connection to mission, and employee interactions. The one faculty-specific criterion is pedagogy and curriculum. Specific descriptions of behaviors within each competency and criteria theme can be found in the DEIA Competencies and Criteria document presented to the Board of Governors (CCCCO, 2021).
While intended for use in employee evaluations, the DEIA competencies and criteria may also be helpful in designing job descriptions that clearly communicate expectations for DEIA-focused faculty and in the employee screening and hiring processes. Additionally, they may be useful during planning for flex and faculty professional learning. The inclusion of DEIA competencies and criteria into personnel evaluations will be a matter of negotiation between local bargaining units and college districts. Academic senates and local unions should begin dialogue now about how DEIA competencies and criteria can be leveraged for faculty evaluation and tenure review processes.
Aschenbach, C. (2021, April). Integrating Expectations for Cultural Competence into Faculty Evaluations. ASCCC Rostrum. https://asccc.org/content/integrating-expectations-cultural-competence-….
California Community Colleges Board of Governors. (2019, September 16-17). Recommendations from the Vision for Success Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. Agenda Item.
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. (2021). DEIA Competencies and Criteria. https://go.boarddocs.com/ca/cccchan/Board.nsf/files/C8FVAS7FD746/$file/….
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. (n.d.) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Implementation Workgroup Members. https://www.cccco.edu/-/media/CCCCO-Website/Files/dei/deia-implementati…